Kazuko “Kaz” Takahashi, passed peacefully at the age of 89 just 2 weeks short of her ninetieth birthday at home. She had a relatively short bout with cancer which she met with her usual courage and determination to do it her way. She had gone into the UBC hospital at the beginning of July suffering from severe dehydration after the second round of chemotherapy. While her body was failing quickly her mind remained sharp. The medical staff were extremely caring and flexible particularly about the presence of people at Kaz's bedside. Although they were dubious about her going home instead of remaining in a professional setting, in the end it was Kaz's unwavering declaration that she wanted to go home to the co-op to be surrounded by her family and friends. She arrived home on the evening of July 13th and was visited by the many, many people whose lives she had touched. On Thursday July 15th, 2021 at 8:40pm she passed away peacefully. The family would like to thank everyone at the co-op, her roommates in Pod 3 and a very special thanks to Pat, Ann, Zerina and Vicky for all their love and support during her final weeks and months. She was preceded in death by her siblings; Hidekazu “Willie”, Yoko “Grace”, Azusa “Joe”, Noboru “Nobby” and her parents Hideo and Tomi. Kaz was born in Vancouver, BC on August 1st, 1931.
Kaz was a registered nurse who spent time with the Royal Canadian Air Force Reserves before enjoying a successful career as a public nurse. Her life was not defined by her career but rather she was selfless and humble with a deep respect for human equality and the protection of the environment. She was a genuine philanthropist supporting local, regional, national and international causes. This included the co-op that she was a founding member of and lived at for over 40 years, Vancouver Foundation (supporting communities in BC), Eco-Justice (an environmental law charity), Inter Pares (a social justice organization for global equality), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (supporting social justice and environmental sustainability) and the United Nations.
Her kind and accepting nature allowed her to develop many lifelong relationships. Her life was one in which she shared joy and love with all of those that she encountered. Her vitality, peacefulness, generosity, and warm heart remained with her until the end. She will live on in all of our hearts. We have been so blessed to have had her in our lives.
A celebration of life will be held at the Co-op (1937 W 2nd Ave.) on August 1st from 3 to 6pm. All that knew her are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to any of the above noted charities that Kaz was a supporter of.